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Travel Plans Coming Up?

New Year's Resolutions

Travel plans in the future? Maybe a summer vacation is on the calendar. Trips are always something to look forward to and we want to make sure you get to your final destination without any nagging aches or pains that could get in the way of fully enjoying your time. If you’re planning on driving, you should take into consideration proper ergonomic postures. Long drives can mean many hours of drivers and passengers sitting in awkward, static postures for long periods of time. Just as you prepare for your trip with packing lists and maps, you should ergonomically prepare your car for the long trip ahead. Avoiding pain and discomfort will allow you to enjoy your trip and can even help you improve daily ergonomic habits when you return home safely after your trip.

Every car has different features and instruments to allow for comfort when traveling in the car. Take a few extra minutes to ensure safe and proper traveling postures before you hit the road!

  • Adjust seat height so that all instruments are eye level
  • Seat height should be adjusted to allow your hips to be higher than your knees.  
  • A cushion can be a helpful tool to place you in the proper position.
  • Ensure your feet can appropriately press the accelerator and break without your back leaving the seat.
  • Slightly recline the seat to approximately 100 degrees
  • Adjust the steering wheel to avoid over reaching, place hands at 10 and 2, or 9 and 3 o’clock
    • Wheel distance should be 10”to the drivers breastbone

Vehicle Ergonomic Checklist

Posture is upright in your seat
Knees are lower than hips
Feet are able to reach the accelerator and break without overstretching legs
Ensure you have the ability to touch the entire pedal with your whole foot, not just the toes
You should be able to see 3 inches or more over the steering wheel
Mirrors are adjusted to avoid repetitively turn your neck and torso
Your lower back is supported, and you feel even pressure from your shoulders to hips
Two or three fingers behind the back of the knee and the front of the seat
Shoulders are relaxed and arms are close to the body

Tips for lifting heavy luggage and travel items:

  • If possible look for light pieces of luggage with handles and wheels.
  • Use smart packing techniques and pack lightly if possible
  • To lift luggage: bend at the knee-lift luggage with legs not your back-one the luggage is lifted, hold it close to your body.
  • Do not twist or turn while holding the luggage
  • Backpacks should be worn with both straps and should be no heavier than 10-15% of your body weight, do not let the backpack hang 2 inches or more below your waist line
  • If you have to use a duffel or shoulder bag,  ensure to switch sides frequently

If you are dealing with some kind of pain or ache or injury, don’t wait to handle that. Call our office today at 703-450-4300 so you can address it and get that pain under control before your trip so you can enjoy yourself.

CLICK HERE for more on proper car ergonomics. 

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